My Four Thoughts of Hope

The sun sets on 2015
The sun sets on 2015

2015 has been a good year for some environmental initiatives. While there is still a long way to go.  I have four stories from 2015 that create hope for the future of our planet.

  1. Microbeads: Congress passed and President Obama signed legislation banning microbeads from products. This is huge for our lakes, streams and oceans!
  2. Renewable Energy:  I have been thrilled many times this year as I read about new solar installations. Both wind and solar have entered the big leagues of energy.
  3. GMOs: Large manufacturers are starting to reject GMO ingredients.  While so far it might be just talk, it is a big change, thanks to the voice of the consumer!
  4. Paris Climate Agreement: Thanks to President Obama, President Hollande and the French negotiators we have an incredible beginning to deal with climate change.


GMO labeling, Consumers want Information!


A GMO free protein source to add to stirfry or meatless spaghetti
A non-GMO protein source perfect for meatless Monday!

The letter below was in the Minneapolis Star Tribune today. As a person with many food intolerances labeling is important, and I applaud the many that are asking for better transparency. My shortened version of this letter:

To the editor:  Whether genetically modified foods are safe or not, is beside the point. Consumers should have all of the information they need to make a decision. That is an aspect of the free market that many sellers tend to forget.

Many people are allergic to peanuts. Should products that contain peanuts as a minor ingredient be labeled with that information? Many people don’t wish to eat certain foods for the variety of health or ethical reasons. If they are opposed to factory farming, should farmers who engage in sustainable practices be prevented from labeling their products?

Sellers want to know all they can about their buyers, but don’t want buyers to know much about them other than their brand name. Melvyn Magree

One more thing I have to add.  Organic products do NOT have GMOs

Protect monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act

This is from Friends of the Earth

Tell the Fish and Wildlife Service: Protect monarchs under the Endangered Species Act.

Across the Midwest, millions of acres of “Roundup® Ready” GMO crops engineered to withstand massive amounts Monsanto’s Roundup® have been planted along the monarch’s migration route — virtually wiping out milkweed, the only food young monarchs eat.

The use of Roundup® has skyrocketed in the last decade. More Roundup® = less milkweed = fewer monarchs.

Monarchs need our help before it’s too late! Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect monarchs under the Endangered Species Act.

The numbers are startling: in the last 20 years, the number of monarchs has declined by 90 percent. They’ve dropped from a recorded high of 1 billion butterflies in the mid-1990s to less than 35 million last winter. For this year, early reports suggest a 50 percent decline in their numbers from last year.

But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the power to help. It could restore essential monarch habitat nationwide — by giving the monarch butterfly protection under the Endangered Species Act. But we need your help to protect this essential pollinator for future generations.

Tell the Fish and Wildlife Service: Protect monarchs under the Endangered Species Act.

Monarchs, like bees, are a “canary in the coal mine” telling us that the chemical-intensive, GMO, corporate-controlled agricultural system is wiping out the very species our food system and ecosystems depend on.

We must take swift action to shift our food system to one that not only protects these iconic creatures, but also people and the environment.

Urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the iconic monarch butterfly before it’s too late.

Friends of the Earth


We have the Right To Know: What is in the Food we Consume?


Are you frightened by the incredible power in the United States of big business? They are the only ones with money, and spend millions to keep their power over the consumer.  In this November Oregon referendum, like they have done in other states, big business is spending millions of dollars to keep us from knowing what is in our food.

We should as consumers, know what harmful ingredients our foods could contain. I want the products I purchase labelled if they have GMOs, and if they have been sprayed with harmful chemicals!

According to surveys, 90% of us think our food should be labeled for GMOs, and it is frustrating that large corporations control the message with lies about we eat.  We still have some choices. and as consumers can try to stay away from GMO products.  Our power is in wise consumer choices!

What can you do?

  1. Reduce the amount of processed foods you purchase, and eat REAL food.
  2. Always read labels. soy and corn syrup are GMO products.
  3. Eat organic and local as much as you can afford. Shop food-coops and farmers markets.
  4. Never use neonicotinoids or pesticides on your lawn or garden
  5. Do NOT believe what Monsanto, Bayer, General Mills, Cargill, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and others …..are telling you about chemicals and GMOs. Big business thinks about profit and not what is healthy for you, or our bees, birds and butterflies!
  6. Support the Right to Know Amendment on the Oregon Ballot on Election Day, November        Support them financially if you can:
  7. Watch this Bill Nye video and learn about GMOs,

More Information:

“All-natural” and “heart-healthy” don’t qualify as labels. They’re just food industry hype. Kellogg can claim that its energy bar will make you as strong as Hercules, but only the “Nutritional information” box tells you what’s actually inside the package — and herbicides, pesticides and GMOs aren’t listed.

The certified-organic label, on the other hand, lets you know beyond a reasonable doubt where your food comes from and how it’s made. Plus, you can feel good about supporting a food system that spends a fraction of its capital (human and otherwise) on marketing, packaging, branding, advertising and so on. Your dollar will go to people who put in 12-hour days, seven days a week to improve your health and that of the planet.”  Bonnie Blodgett  

What are Genetically Engineered Foods / GMOs? 

“Plants or animals that have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that are not naturally theirs.”
From the glossary on the Monsanto website.

“Organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally.” 
World Health Organization

Find more information:

GMO crops are creating a mono culture and wiping out the habitat of our bees, butterflies and birds.  More information: Friends of the Earth